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The layoff quandry June 9, 2006

Posted by Tom in Workforce.

Nothing lasts forever in the world of business (ask the dot-com bubble refugees), so layoffs are a very unfortunate fact of life. The BostonWorks HR Blog highlights an interview with New York Times reporter Louis Uchitellem, author of The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences. Uchitellem makes intriguing claims about the effects of layoffs on workers health as well as questioning the efficacy of layoffs in general. From a workforce planner's perspective, though, this was the eye-opener:

WM: Why do you believe that the retraining programs offered to laid-off employees don’t work?

Uchitelle: Too often, laid-off employees are just trained for whatever happens to be available, and often that is below their education and skill level. There are training programs that instruct participants that if they commit themselves, they can do a certain job at a certain wage. That’s more helpful.

Not having read the book, I am not sure exactly what the author means. Probably ought to check it out.



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